Today. My worst day of 2012 so far.
Mom: "See? Good idea! You're such a good problem solver."
And that's when I realized that the only reason I am mildly adept at solving problems is because I am extremely skillful at getting into problems. It seems no matter what I do, it absolutely never works out the way I planned. At first I thought it was just because I set my sights too high- planning a trip on my own, going to a country where I need a visa, acquiring a visa, taking a road trip, etc. but then I realized all the little things I have failed at: getting coffee in a city where there is a Starbucks on every corner, not turning the wrong way down a one way road, listening to my GPS, not paying way too much for parking, using the free Wi-Fi at the public library, not running out of gas, not spending all my money on useless purchases (cupcakes), not falling asleep in public etc.
This little problem of mine causes me to be indecisive, anxious, unreliable, and all sorts of other negative qualities! On the up side, however, I have gotten pretty good at solving problems...so let's chalk this (and every awful situation I get myself into) up to another good learning experience and move on!
For the specifics of why today hit me with an anvil:
-Refer to earlier post saying I had all my passport/visa stuff figured out for the TRIP
-Realize this was a blatant yet optimistic lie
-I got home around 7:30 pm last night (Monday) to find my new passport had arrived from Washington that I drove up last week to apply for. This trip was ultimately successful although it did involve getting lost, wasting money, running out of gas, and driving for 7 hours in torrential downpour conditions...
-So after seeing my passport had arrived, I immediately began to plan when I could come back to DC and apply for my Russian visa (while procrastinating my geography paper and studying for my bio test)
-I realized that thanks to lovely Russian holidays (Really, they're lovely! Just SO frequent...) either today (Tuesday) or tomorrow (Wednesday) were the only days I could come and Wednesday afternoon was booked so I had now less than 12 hours before leaving to DC...again.
-I completely ignore my other assignments and get my application all shored up- ready to face the embassy!
-Leave school early, miss biology test (not too devastated), miss 2 meetings, have to reschedule my only source of income, drive 3.2 hours to Washington.
-Facts: 1- the Russian embassy website lists at least 5 phone numbers. You call any of them and 8/10 times it is either busy, rings endlessly, or plays the dial-up tone...if someone does answer, only 1/4 times will they be proficient enough in English to actually help incompetent Americans like me! 2- There is one address on the website (which you must rely on due to fact 1) 3- it clearly states that visa application will accepted from 9:00am-2:15pm
-Fact Evaluation: 1 is absolutely true. 2 is half true. 3 is absolutely not true.
-When I got to the absolutely terrifying embassy gates, the guard barely speaks English, hands me a sheet with the address for the consulate. He then tries to give me directions which result in my circling the 4 blocks of Wisconsin Ave that Russia has laid claim to until I find the door of the consulate- which turns out to just be on the other side of the embassy building (but like I said, it's basically a marathon to walk around this mammoth complex). Plaque outside the door: "Visitors from 9:00-12:30". Current time: 12:42.
-Turns out the website was all a lie! They only accept visa applications until noon. I shouldn't be surprised...but I literally collapsed against the concrete wall outside the consulate and stood there like melting butter for a good five minutes, shouting the most appropriate Russian phrases I could think of at the camera- na pol! (get on the floor), pashla von! (get out), konyechna! (of course), ya nyenavizhu sebya (I hate myself)...I hope this doesn't affect my application...no, they were all at lunch, nobody was there to see my desperate outburst!
-I then trudge around DC for the next 3 hours with a 10 lb backpack trying to get my head together (it doesn't work)
-Anyway, sorry if this was boring, but if you read all that then good for you! I have family who live nearby, so I'm staying with them tonight and trying again in the morning. I hope to be back before 1pm tomorrow!
-I have to waste money on buying a new toothbrush now...it's all just a cycle...
-Right now I am siting in the admittedly beautiful Georgetown neighborhood public library taking a break from my geography paper to write this. The Wi-Fi connection dies every 3-4 minutes, the guy across from me smells like an airplane bathroom, someone behind me has consumption, and I am slowly developing a migraine...good thing my phone battery is about to die! I hate contact with sane people who I care about))
-The worst part is, though, I already felt so guilty about driving up here wasting gas, money, time, missing school for MY trip...it all is starting to feel pretty selfish. I've got to pull this together.
"When you have a always remember someone else's day is worse. Be thankful for what you have and what God does for you! It could be worse."
PS: as I read this quote I heard an ambulance siren whine by outside and felt like a total jerk...so thanks God for letting me be alive today, at least I have my health and my family and friends!